RIP Wanderin’ Boy

Wanderin’ Boy winning the 2007 Alysheba at Churchill (twinspiresdotcom)

This break in blogging is interrupted by sad news. Awful news in fact. As you might know by now, GbG fav Wanderin’ Boy broke down going into the stretch in the otherwise exciting Cigar Mile at Aqueduct, and was subsequently euthanized after being vanned off.

Just about 2 months ago Steve Haskin had a wonderful (a word I don’t use too often) profile of Wanderin’ Boy, one you should definitely read. The comments are also very touching.

At age 7, Wanderin Boy has made only 24 career starts, winning nine, with six seconds and three thirds for earnings of $1.2 million. Talk about not choosing one’s company wisely, he has finished second in grade I stakes to Curlin (Jockey Club Gold Cup), Invasor (Pimlico Special), Bernardini (Jockey Club Gold Cup), and Lawyer Ron (Whitney). He has, however, managed to win the grade II Brooklyn Handicap and the grade III Ben Ali, Alysheba, and Mineshaft.

At this point, you’re probably thinking, ‘OK, so what’s the point?’

The point is, a horse like Wanderin Boy – and I emphasize the word “horse” rather than gelding – often goes unnoticed because he’s never done anything that would cause people to pay a whole lot of attention to him, other than to say something like, “It was another good effort by Wanderin Boy, but he was no match for….”

But there often is much more to a horse than his record. In Wanderin Boy’s case, this is a horse who should be admired by all those fortunate enough to see him run his heart out race after race.

Haskin goes on to detail Wanderin’ Boy’s astonishingly resilient journey, littered with injuries and miraculous recoveries starting when he was a month old. It makes his final injury even more vexing given that he’s recovered so many times.

His last 3 efforts were very game. I saw his win opening weekend at Saratoga this summer in a 100k Optional Claimer (no replay available at YouTube) but his efforts in the Woodward and Jockey Club were just as game. He made Curlin work for that $10M in the JCGC and for a second it looked like he was gonna win.

My heart goes out to his connections, after all that he’s been through this must have been a devastating blow. Rest in peace Wanderin’ Boy. And here’s hoping that the Demoiselle winner, Springside, recovers from her injury today as well.

2006 Brooklyn Handicap:

2007 Alysheba:

2008 Woodward:

2008 Jockey Club Gold Cup: